As part of a long term strategy, Princes are investing in Innovation and as such are building a central innovation team to drive innovation and NPD for our brands, our customers and our internal partners within the business.
The Role of Senior Innovation Manager is integral in the delivery of a robust, long term innovation and NPD pipeline.
Using your previous experience, the role will be required to manage and deliver innovation projects through to launch.
The role will inspire the wider innovation and NPD teams as well as the commercial functions with new and exciting interpretations of product briefs and innovation projects.
Keeping one step ahead of the competition, you will keep a close eye on global food trends and incorporate your food knowledge to the ever evolving consumer markets, offering creative and commercially viable food solutions.
- Lead the development of the food innovation strategy, product concepts and overall delivery of projects.
- Support the Head of Innovation in all aspects of the R&D process which includes conceptualisation, design, creation, costing and feasibility evaluation of new concepts/products
- Manage the Innovation & NPD Development throughout the launch procedure
- Work closely with the cross-functional teams and sectors (Fish, Italian, Foods, Oils and Drinks) in order to effectively deliver new product concept solutions to the business against key milestones.
- Work closely with the Research & Intelligence team on market, category and food trends.
- Integrate culinary trends and keep abreast of recent developments with respect to nutrition, food safety and new products
- Infuse excitement, creativity and passion into our teams within Princes at all levels and functions
- Prepare and deliver ideation sessions and food safaris to aid creativity and concept development.
- Identify and proactively engage supplier capability (existing and new) including MC subsidiary’s to drive the innovation agenda.
Regular interaction with Departments/sites/suppliers/customers
Manage cross functional teams both internally and externally in conjunction with Princes Project Managers to deliver projects on time and in full.
Align with cross functional teams to ensure that the projects are progressing and meeting key milestones – both time & commercial.
Day to day management of effective procedures to deliver fit for purpose product solutions to the business and our customers
Align with supply base ensuring that Princes are ahead of the game on product & ingredient innovation.
Strong management experience and a depth of both concept and process development.
Develop a robust blue sky and NPD pipeline (2-5 years) for the key business sectors e.g. Fish, Italian, Foods, Oils and Drinks (as prioritised from the innovation strategy).
Deliver robust sector/brand ideation sessions with the wider Innovation team.
Deliver a minimum 8% of net margin ongoing on blue sky & NPD projects
Other key dimensions
Completion / provision of information for innovation reports for wider communication to the business.
Completion of product trackers for innovation development
Initial concept costings with support of Senior Development Chef & Process Manager.
Engagement & support relationship with the Process Development Manager, Senior Development Chef & Packaging Innovation Manager to ensure that concepts are deliverable within a production environment.
With support from the wider Innovation team, manage supplier relationship and engagement to ensure we are up to date on new ingredients and trends.
Presenting regularly to internal stakeholders and key customers when required.
Conditions of Role
Office and factory based (UK & International) with work in an ambient/chilled environment
Working in the proposed Innovation Centre at RLB
Handling & tasting of all foods
Travel will be required to other sites / suppliers / customers up to 30% of time.
Marketing experience – in depth knowledge of the full marketing mix.
Deliver against critical path requirements of new briefs and ensure the Innovation team are delivering against these.
Be the product expert as part of the internal feasibility assessment
Provide concept solutions for new products.
Control and monitor value added product development including: competitor product analysis, benchmarking market, product design, product matching, sensory analysis, recipe optimisation
Generate and manage the concept critical path in conjunction with the Project Managers
Be involved in the phases of the NPD process to ensure the correct management of the concept process as the product moves from concept to launch.
Provision of all information in order for project team to finalise concept product costings.
Deliver post-trial tasks, e.g. Back of pack recipes & serving suggestions in conjunction with the Process team and Senior Development Chef
Where appropriate conduct alternative supplier evaluation suitability with the support of the process development manager.
Ensure risk management procedures are followed.
Assess & approve production trials with the process development manager.
Basic product specification management in conjunction with the process development manager for handover to the NPD, Technical sector teams or 3rd party suppliers including checking the quality of information.
Supported by the Packaging Development Manager, ensure that all packaging for new products delivers against customer and business expectations whilst adhering to legislative, quality, safety and environmental standards.
Ensure all concepts for new products achieve manufacturing performance by providing cost effective solutions.
Comply with Safety, Environmental & Quality procedures, which are part of the Integrated management System.
Contribute to the health & safety of self and others by applying health and safety principles to the required standards whilst undertaking designated tasks.
Understanding of current and new supplier capabilities
Annual meetings with suppliers to review what’s new and how we can utilise this as part of our briefs.
Strongly influence and shape the customer’s perception of the Princes as a forward thinking innovator with regards to product and food trends.
Proactively investigate innovative and new product ideas grounded in consumer and food trends for new product lines.
Take the lead in developing and promoting new product innovation
Identify and visit new potential suppliers that can help us achieve our goals of excellence in product innovation.
Minimum of 5 years NPD Manager experience preferably with food multi-category experience.
Experience of working in a Marketing or Group Marketing capacity with proven track record of launching NPD and full understanding of the Marketing mix.
Genuine passion for food & food trends across all areas
Solid knowledge of recipe costing, recipe conversions, weight and measures
Experienced use of commercial food preparation equipment including steam injected ovens, canning processing etc
Strong working knowledge of food safety practices and HACCP
Organised and systematic approach to work with the ability to prioritise effectively whilst working on multiple projects to completion
Adaptable and quick learner who operates with a sense of urgency
Food Hygiene Certificate preferable
FMCG experience including food manufacturing.
Proven experience in effective supplier relationship management
Proven retailer experience operating at all levels up to directorship level
Practical competencies in Microsoft Word and Excel to intermediate level
Passion - believe we have the opportunity to accelerate innovation within the organisation
Teamwork – proven ability to work with peers and co-operates with all to establish a collaborative working environment
High Standards - expects personal performance and team performance to be nothing short of the best
Organisation & Planning – proven ability to remain calm while multi tasking and prioritising a conflicted workload
Motivation – proven ability to engage and motivates the chefs, managers and teams to always do their best to their highest standards with regular meetings, training and social activities (supplier visits/focus groups/ideation sessions/Food School)